Video game developers are focusing more and more on making games with compelling storylines. After all, who wouldn’t like the idea of not only watching a story unfold before you, but to have the chance to actively participate in the story?
One of the traditional ways of making a compelling story is to throw in a few plot twists. However, so many plot twists are great the first time we see them used in a story, but are then used so often that we learn to expect them, and no longer enjoy them.
Video games are also no stranger to these repetitive plot twists, though there are a few games whose twists make them stand out among the crowd of other video games.
Warning: Most of the descriptions below will contain spoilers to their respective games.
# 5. Portal 2
In Portal 2 Chell, the player character, is assisted by Wheatley, a small round robot, as she searches for a way out of the Aperture Science testing facility. In doing so, the two end up accidentally re-activating GLaDOS, the main enemy in the first Portal game.
The twist is that it seems like once again the player will have to pass increasingly harder tests that GLaDOS designs, in order to finally defeat the machine again. However, in an attempt to stop GLaDOS, Wheatley ends up taking her place as the robot in control of all of Aperture Science, and the power goes to his robot head. He ends up being the main antagonist of the story. What makes this twist even more out of the ordinary is that GLaDOS is the one helping the player stay alive, instead of trying to kill her, and even when GLaDOS regains control, she willingly lets Chell go.
# 4. Assassin’s Creed III
Like its predecessors Assassin’s Creed 1 and 2, Assassin’s Creed III follows the story of Desmond Miles, this time as he experiences the memories of his ancestor Haytham Kenway, who travels from England to the American colonies in the 1700s.
The twist is that instead of Desmond’s ancestor being an assassin, as usual, he is a templar. This twist is significant because in the first two Assassin’s Creed games, templars are treated as the villians to the heroes of the story, the assassins. The games are called “Assassin’s” Creed after all. For the story to suddenly take that turn, was not only unexpected but it also gave an interesting viewpoint that the series’ previous games hadn’t explored, yet.
#3. Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill 2 is the story of James Sunderland, who goes to Silent Hill to meet his wife, Mary. In Silent Hill he is continually tormented by monsters and the recurring appearance of a woman named Maria, who looks like his wife.
The twist is revealed when James finds a video of him killing his wife who is already dying from an illness. Though the twist of the main character as “the bad guy” is common in stories, this particular twist stands out because of the guilt James feels for killing his wife, and how he uses Silent Hill as a way of trying to repent.
#2. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
In Knights of the Old Republic, the player character becomes a Jedi and travels with his or her companions to different planets in search of a way to stop Malak, a powerful Sith lord.
The twist in Knights of the Old Republic is similar to Silent Hill 2‘s because the player character discovers that he or she is actually Darth Revan, the master of Malak. This twist is unusual because the Jedi Council were the ones who decided to take Darth Revan’s memories and therefore manipulate him into changing his ways. Additionally, this revelation does not necessarily alter the player’s path in the game. Despite your character’s past, you can still choose whether you want to defeat the Sith or lead them in the end.
In Bioshock, you play as Jack, a man who recently survived a plane crash only to stumble upon an underwater city known as Rapture. Jack must uncover the secrets of the city, in order to find his way out, and throughout the game he is assisted by a man known as Atlas who wants to be reunited with his family.
All three Bioshock games contain major twists, but Bioshock‘s twist is #1 on this list because so many different facts are revealed to the main character at once. Not only does Jack find out that he is the son of Andrew Ryan, the supposed antagonist of the story up to that point, but he was also kidnapped by Ryan’s rival, Fontaine, who manipulated his genes to make him age from a child to an adult in only two years. But it doesn’t stop there.
Jack learns that he has been manipulated to do whatever anyone says as long as the instructions are proceeded by the phrase “would you kindly,” and also learns that his friend, Atlas, is actually Fontaine who has been controlling him the whole time. All of this information is skillfully revealed in the story, and unexpected.